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Scopes of linguistic description 1


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The paper deals with the scope of linguistic description. It thus highlights the idea of idealization and how models of linguistic descriptions rely thoroughly on abstracting linguistic data.

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Scopes of linguistic description 1

  1. 1. FACULTY OF ARTS AND LITERATURE UNIVERSITY OF MOSTAGANEMDepartment of EnglishFundamental Contexts in Language TeachingDr. Bel Abbes Neddar THE SCOPE OF LINGUISTIC DESCRIPTION (I)In our first session we saw that enquiry involves an idealization of the data. It is in so doingthat we produce some kind of a model of the subject that we are dealing with.In our second session we dealt with the design features of language: its arbitrariness andduality, the fact that it is context-independent, operates across different media (speech andwriting) and so on. The phenomenon as a whole is both pervasive and elusive. How then canit be pinned down and systematically studied?This question moves us from the properties of language to the principles of the disciplinewhich studies them, from the design features of language to the design features of linguistics.So, in this session we are going to relate issues dealt with in session 1 to that of session 2, Sothe question that we will be dealing with is what are the scope of linguistic description?The first notion to think about is that of a model. This leads me to pass under a reviewanother and no less important which is that of idealization.The purpose of linguistics is to explain language, and explanation depends on somedissociation from the immediacy of experience. If you are in the middle of the wood all youcan see is the trees: if you want to see the wood, you have to get out of it. In fact, there isnothing unusual about this of course. As we have seen, it is one of the critical design featuresof language itself that it is at a remove from the actual reality of things. Its signs are arbitrary,and can therefore provide for abstraction: they enable us to set up conceptual categories todefine our own world. It is this which enables human beings to be proactive rather thanreactive: language does not just reflect or record reality, but creates it.The experience of language, as cognition and communication, is, as we have seen,inordinately complex. The purpose of linguistics is to provide some explanation of thiscomplexity by abstracting from it what seems to be of essential significance. Abstractioninvolves the idealization of actual data, as part of the process of constructing models oflinguistic description. Let me now dwell a bit about the notion of idealization.
  2. 2. 2I shall take idealization to mean the thinking process by which you abstract particulars fromgeneralities. In other words, it is as I defined it elsewhere ( Neddar 2004:131) ‘ theabstraction of the formal properties of the language code from the contextual circumstancesof actual instances of use’. In this process one needs to dissociate himself from the immediacyof the context and hence be at a remove from the actual. No matter how details are important,they are always a hindrance that can mislead us in our research as they are by their verynature variable. Stability, it seems to me, is one of the key elements in any scientific query.This process involves according to Lyons ( 1977 ) three stages:Regulation: Under this head, we can discount all slips of the tongue, mispronunciations,hesitation pauses, stammering, stuttering, etc.: in short, everything that Chomsky attributes tothe influence of such microlinguistically irrelevant factors as memory limitations, distractions,shifts of attention and interest, and the malfunctioning of the psychological and neurologicalmechanisms involved in language-behaviour.Standardization: This is the second kind of idealization. When we say that two people speakthe same language (e.g. English), we are, whether we are aware of it or not, abstracting fromall sorts of systematic differences in the language –systems which underlie their language-behaviour. Some of these differences are covered by the terms dialect and accent. Others areattributable to such factors as sex, age, social status, social role, professional occupation,many of which have been described as contextual variables. There is a sense in which it istrue to say that everyone we normally describe as a native speaker of English speaks adifferent English: he has his own language-system, distinct to some degree in vocabulary,grammar and phonology. Indeed, every native speaker of English speaks many varieties ofEnglish and uses them in different situations.It would be absurd to hope to describe, or even to determine, all these differences within whatwe call, pre-theoretically, English. What the linguist does, in practice, is to discount all but themajor systematic variations in the language-behaviour of the community whose language heis describing; and this is what is meant by standardization. For example, he would usuallyexclude from his model of the language-system any feature of phonology, grammar orvocabulary that was peculiar to a single individual; and he would probably exclude also anyfeature characteristic of the language-behaviour of a small subset of the members of thelanguage-community, if this subset did not constitute a recognizable geographical or socio-culturally determined group within the community.© BA. Neddar 2006
  3. 3. 3Decontextualization: This is the third kind of idealization that is involved in the process ofabstraction. We have said the linguist’s model of the language-system can be conceived as aset of rules which generates all (and only) the system-sentences of a language; and that theideal omnicompetent user of a language will not only know all the rules which determine thewell-formedness of the system sentences, but also possess the ability to contextualize themappropriately in terms of the relevant variables. We are now concerned with what might beregarded as the inverse of this process of contextualization; and we can restrict the scope ofthe term ‘language-system’, in the light of our discussion of standardization, to that of ‘overalllanguage-system’. System-sentences are idealized utterances in the particular sense of theterm ‘idealization’ that is implied by ‘decontextualization’: they are derived from utterancesby the elimination of all the context-dependent features of utterances.Spoken utterances of everyday conversation tend to be heavily context-dependent, as well asbeing characterized by errors and other performance-phenomena, which, we are assuming, areeliminable by regularization. One aspect of context-dependence is manifest in what istraditionally called ellipsis. A conversation consisting entirely of grammatically completetext-sentences would generally be unacceptable as a text; and it is part of the language-competence of a speaker of the language that he should be able to produce grammaticallyincomplete, but contextually appropriate and interpretable, sentence-fragments. For example,the utterance As soon as I can ( produced with the appropriate stress pattern and intonation)might occur in a text in reply to an utterance (intended and taken as a question) such as Whenare you leaving? The grammatical structure of the context-dependent fragment-sentence Assoon as I can, and at least part of its meaning, can be accounted for by describing it as anelliptical, appropriately contextualized, version of the utterance I’m leaving as soon as I can.Ellipsis, then, is one of the most important obvious effects of fragments such as the one justillustrated, consists in supplying some elements from the preceding co-text.Ellipsis is not the only phenomenon to be taken into account in the decontextualization oftext-sentences or sentence-fragments. There is a whole range of other phenomena, includingthe use of pronouns, the definite article, word-order, sentence connectives and such prosodicfeatures as stress and intonation. Any of these features may suffer to make a text-sentence orsentence-fragment context-dependent. For example, the text-sentence I haven’t seen himbefore cannot be interpreted unless the referent of the pronoun ‘he’ can be correctly identifiedby the hearer; and the referent will normally have been mentioned on the preceding co-text.The different, but related, text-sentence I haven’t seen him before ( where the pronoun ‘he’, in© BA. Neddar 2006
  4. 4. 4its form him bears heavy stress) is also context-dependent; but the referent of ‘he’ need nothave been mentioned in the co-text. The referent might be some person in the situationalcontext, who is identified paralinguistically by the speaker as he makes the utterance (e.g.with a gesture of the hand or a movement of the head).To sum up, I would say that the process of decontextualization is a process that isolates thesentence ( a unit of form, i.e. a competence category ) from its corresponding utterance ( aunit of use, i.e. a performance category).The notion of idealization leads us to another and no less important one, that of a modelwhich will be the concern of my next discussion.The experience of language as cognition and communication is, as we have seen, inordinatelycomplex. The purpose of linguistics is to provide some explanation of this complexity byabstracting from it what seems to be of essential significance. Abstracting involves, as wehave seen the idealization of actual data, as part of constructing models of linguisticdescription. These models are necessarily at a remove from familiar reality and may indeedbear little resemblance to it. There is, again, nothing peculiar about linguistics in this regard.Other disciplines devise models of a similar sort. The way in which the discipline of physicsmodels the physical world in terms of waves and particles bears no relationship to the way weexperience it. This does not invalidate the model. On the contrary, its very validity liesprecisely in the fact that it reveals what is not apparent.The purpose of linguistics, then, is to provide models of language which reveal featureswhich are not immediately apparent. That being so, they are necessarily an abstraction, at aremove from familiar experience. A model is an idealized version of reality: those featureswhich are considered incidental are stripped away in order to give prominence to thosefeatures which are considered essential. In this respect, models can be likened to maps.A map does not show things as they really are. No matter what its scale, a vast amount ofdetail is inevitably left out because there is no room for it. And even when there is room,details will be excluded to avoid clutter which might distract attention from what isconsidered essential.Models of linguistics, like maps, identify certain features as being of particular significanceand give them prominence by avoiding the distraction of detail. Other features will bedisregarded. And, naturally, different models will work to different scales and give preferenceto different features. Like maps, all models are simplified and selective. They are idealizedversions of reality, designed to reveal certain things by concealing others. There can be no anall- purpose model, any more than there can be an all- purpose map. Their validity is always© BA. Neddar 2006
  5. 5. 5relative, never absolute. They are designed to explain experience, and so they should not beexpected to correspond with it. None of them could capture the truth. If they did that, theywould cease to be models, of course, just as a map which corresponded exactly to the terrainwould cease to be a map.Chomsky proposed three measures of adequacy for his model of language:Observational: This measure refers to the idea that any model has to account for the fact thatthe rules proposed have to generate sentences that belong to the code studied. If a rule inEnglish for instance generates a sentence such as ‘You love me not’, we would say that thisrule is not observationally adequate.Descriptive: Any model has to account for the relationship between things that are there. Forexample, as in the case of passive and active sentences, if the rule does not indicate that‘ Henry burnt the cake’ is semantically equivalent to ‘ The cake was burnt by Henry’, thenone would say that this rule is not descriptively adequate.Explanatory: The model of language ( grammar ) has also to explain the intrinsic nature oflanguage. It has to explain what is innate and what is specific as speech for instance. It has, toput it differently, to account for the development of the cognitive process of languageacquisition.Dimension of idealizationIf we consider the actual particulars of language, they appear to be a bewildering assortmentof different facets. As a means of interaction between people, language is a socialphenomenon. It enables us to give public expression to private experience and so tocommunicate and commune with others, to arrive at agreed meanings and to regulaterelationships. For this purpose to be served, different languages have to be relatively stablecodes which people contract into as a condition of membership of the communities that usethem, and there have to be generally agreed ways of using the language in different kinds ofsocial context. In this sense, to learn a language is an act of social conformity.At the same time, language provides the means for non- conformist self-expression as well.There is always some room for individual manoeuvre. For example, an individual speakingFrench, or Arabic, or Chinese in the natural course of events will on the one hand produceinstances of that language, combination of words, in accordance with the underlying systems© BA. Neddar 2006
  6. 6. 6of rules and established meanings which constitute the linguistic codes in each case. But onthe one hand, they will be producing unique expressions in the language by exploiting thepotential of the code. Although individual s are constrained by conventions of the code and itsuse, they exploit the potential differently on different occasions and for different purposes.But this conscious exploitation is not the only source of variation. The patterning of aperson’s use of language is as naturally distinctive as a fingerprint.. And even spokenutterances repeated by the same person, though they may sound identical, are neveracoustically alike in every particular. It is obviously socially necessary to assume that certainthings are the same, even if, on closer scrutiny, they turn out to be different.The point then is that, from one perspective, language is a very general and abstractphenomenon. It is a shared and stable body of knowledge of linguistic forms and theirfunction which is established by convention in a community. At the same time, it is veryparticular and variable if we look at the actuality of linguistic behaviour. Since social controlis necessarily a condition on individual creativity, there is no contradiction here. It is simplythat the nearer you get to actuality along the scale of idealization, the more differences youdiscern as the more general abstractions disappear. It is therefore convenient to mark offlimiting points along this scale to define the scope of linguistic enquiry. There are two models of linguistic description that seek to define the scope of linguistic.One is that of De Saussure and the other that of Chomsky. The first basic notion based onidealization is the distinction between langue and parole.Langue and paroleA distinction is to be made between the following instances:Do you know English?Do you speak English?One refers to the abstract knowledge that one has about a particular language, English in thiscase, and is positively defined and the other to the actual linguistic behaviour of that particularknowledge and is negatively defined. There is a move here from what is stable, shared relatedto the community to what is personal, unstable and related to the performance of an individualas a member of a particular speech community.One such remark was made by Ferdinand de Saussure. In a celebrated series of lectures in theearly part of the twentieth century, he proposed that linguistics should concern itself with theshared social code, the abstract system, which he called langue, leaving aside the particularactualities of individual utterances, which he called parole. Langue was, on his account, a© BA. Neddar 2006
  7. 7. 7collective body of knowledge, a kind of common reference manual, copies of which wereacquired by all members of a community of speakers. This distinction from language as actualspeech can be justified on two grounds. Firstly, it is convenient in that it delimits an area ofenquiry which is manageable: it is possible in principle to conceive of a linguistic of parole,but the individual particulars of actual acts of speech are so varied and heterogeneous as to beelusive of description. Secondly, the concept of langue can be said to capture the central anddetermining aspect of language itself. On this account, parole is the contingent executive sideof things, the relatively superficial behavioural reflexes of knowledge. So langue can either beseen as a convenient principle of linguistics, or as an essential principle of language itself, orboth.If we refer Saussure’s distinction to the aspects of idealization, we would say that it is relatedto the process of standardization which is, in fact, stabilizing the system one is dealing withand assuming that is stable, fixed and regular. There are a number of issues arising from Saussure’s distinction. To begin with, one shouldnote that the concept of langue eliminates from language its intrinsic instability. Language isnecessarily, and essentially, dynamic. It is a process, not a state, and changes over time toaccommodate the needs of its users. In fact, Saussure was well aware of this. He was himselfschooled in the tradition of historical linguistics which sought to account for changes inlanguage over time, its diachronic dimension. But he conceives of langue as a cross-sectionof this process at a particular time, a synchronic state, which might be represented in thefollowing diagram: Diachronic dimension L’état de langue Synchronic state of langueOne difficulty about this conception, however, is that there is a confusion between synchronyand stability. Whenever you take a synchronic slice through language you will find not fixity,but flux ( a continuous successions of changes). This is because language does not just change© BA. Neddar 2006
  8. 8. 8over time but varies at any one time, and indeed this cannot be otherwise because themembers of a community which ‘shares’ a language will themselves be of different ages, willuse language differently, and will have different communicative and communal uses for it.Different generations generate differences. No matter how small the period of time, or limitedthe variety of language, there will be variations within it as it is fine-tuned by the communityof its users. And as some of these variable uses become conventionalized, so they becomeestablished as changed forms. In other words, diachronic change over time is simply, andinevitably, a result of synchronic variation at any one time.I want to dwell a bit on this particular point hoping to eliminate the confusion, or at least toreduce it. Saussure thought that language may stand still like a chess of game by taking thesynchronic slice, i.e., when eliminating the diachronic development. However, in so doing henot only disregarded the diachronic changes of language through time, but also put aside thesynchronic variation that cannot be included in the description unless it is conventionalized. Itis, indeed, in the essence of the process of standardization to disregard any kind of variationand look at what is consistent. Yet, one cannot ignore this variation as it is the one that leads,once established as a convention, to the diachronic change of language.To illustrate his synchronic-diachronic distinction, Saussure drew, as it has just beenmentioned, an analogy with the game of chess. The synchronic cross-section of language( the state of langue ) is, he argued, like the state of play at one time. We can study thedisposition of the pieces on the board without considering the diachronic dimension of thegame, that is to say, the moves that were made before-hand, or those that might be planned inthe future. We can, in other words, see the pattern of pieces as a state of play and disregard itas a stage in the game. The analogy breaks down, however, because of course the game ofchess is of its nature a sequence of separate stages and the game itself stops as each playertakes a turn. But language is a continuity with no divisions of this kind. It is linguistics whichmakes stop.To say that diachrony and synchrony are not in reality distinct dimensions is not to invalidatethe idealization that makes them distinct, but only to set limits on its claims to absolutevalidity. And this, as has been pointed out, is true of all models of language. If we wished toaccount for variation and change, we would draw the lines of idealization differently, butthere would still be idealization. And the resulting model would necessarily be less revealingof the relative stability of language which serves as the necessary frame of reference inaccounting for variation. You have to assume fixed points somewhere as bearings ondescription.© BA. Neddar 2006
  9. 9. 9And as bearings on behaviour. It is important to note too that this assumption of stability canhave a reality of its own. It is not only Saussure who conceives of language as a stable state.Although a close scrutiny of an actually occurring language will reveal all manner ofvariation, people in the communities who speak it might well nevertheless think of theirlanguage as being settled and established, and accept the validity of grammars anddictionaries which record it as such. Members of a linguistic community may not haveidentical copies of langue in their heads, but they may nevertheless believe they do, and mayconsider whatever differences they do discern as matters of no real significance.Competence and performanceA compatible distinction to that of Saussure, designed to idealize language data, and to definethe scope of linguistic enquiry, is made by Noam Chomsky. He distinguishes competence,the knowledge that native speakers have of their language as a system of abstract formalrelations, and performance, their actual behaviour. Although performance must clearly beprojected from competence, and therefore be referable to it, it does not correspond to it in anydirect way. As with other aspects of human life, we do not necessarily act upon what weknow, quite simply because actions are inevitably caught up in particular circumstances whichset constraints and conditions on what we do. So it is that actual linguistic behaviour isconditioned by all manner of factors other than a knowledge of language as such, and thesefactors are, according to Chomsky, incidental, and irrelevant to linguistic description.Performance is particular, variable, dependent on circumstances. It may offer evidence ofcompetence, but it is circumstantial evidence and not to be relied on. Abstract concepts ofcompetence and actual acts of performance are quite different phenomena and you cannotdirectly infer one from the other. What we know cannot be equated with what we do.Chomsky’s distinction obviously corresponds in some degree to that of Saussure. Itrepresents a similar dichotomy of knowledge and behaviour and a similar demarcation of thescope of linguistic enquiry. There are, however, differences. To begin with, there is noambivalence in Chomsky as to the status of the distinction . It is not that competence ispresent as a convenient construct and therefore a useful principle for language study: it ispresented as valid construct, as the central principle of language itself. To focus oncompetence is to focus on what is essential and primary. Performance is the residual categoryof secondary phenomena, incidental, and peripheral.A second point to be made is that though langue and competence can both be glossed interms of abstract knowledge, the nature of knowledge is conceived of in very different ways.© BA. Neddar 2006
  10. 10. 10Saussure thinks of it socially shared, common knowledge: his image is of langue as a book,printed in multiple copies and distributed throughout a community. It constitutes, therefore, agenerality of highest common factors. But for Chomsky competence is not a social but apsychological phenomenon, not so much printed as imprinted, not a shared generality but ageneric endowment in each individual. Of course, individuals are not innately programmed toacquire competence in any particular language, but competence in any one language cannevertheless be taken as a variant in respect to universal features of language.Langue, then, is conceived of as knowledge which is determined by membership of a socialcommunity, and so it follows that the focus of attention will naturally be on what makes eachlangue different. In this definition of linguistic knowledge, the main question of interest is:what is distinctive about particular languages as social phenomena? Competence, on the otherhand is conceived of as knowledge which is determined by membership of the human speciesand it follows that the interest here will naturally be not on what makes individualcompetences different but what makes them alike. In this definition of knowledge the mainquestion of interest is: what is distinctive about language in general, and as specific to thehuman species?Chomsky’s distinction, then, leads to a definition of linguistics as principally concerned withthe universals of the human mind. Indeed, he has defined linguistics as a branch of cognitivepsychology. His idealization is a strictly formalist one in that it fixes on the forms oflanguages as evidence of these universals without regard to how these forms function in thebusiness of communication and the conduct of social life in different communities. In thisrespect, Chomsky’s definition of competence as the proper concern of linguistics is muchfurther along the continuum of abstraction than is Saussure’s definition of langue, in that itleaves social consideration out of account.Two further issues are perhaps worth noting in respect to this formalist definition oflanguage. First, as was indicated earlier, it is obvious that the further one proceeds inabstraction, the greater the risk of losing contact with the actuality of language in use. Ifcompetence is knowledge of the abstract principles of linguistic organization, which may notbe evident in actual behaviour, nor even accessible to consciousness, then what, one mightreasonably ask, counts as empirical evidence for its existence? The answer to this question hasgenerally been that linguists themselves, as representative native speakers of a language, candraw evidence from their own intuitions. But there seems no reason why one should supposeit as self-evident that linguists are reliable informants: on the contrary, one might morereasonably suppose that as interested parties with an analytic bent they would on the face of it© BA. Neddar 2006
  11. 11. 11be very untypical, and so be disqualified as representative speakers. There are ways ofcountering this argument, but problems about the link between abstraction and actualityremain, and the further language is removed from its natural surroundings, the greater theproblem becomes. On the other hand, the more you locate it in its natural surroundings, theless you see in the way of significant generalization. The dilemma of idealization wediscussed earlier will always be with us. Whereas this first issue has to do with methodology of linguistic enquiry, with how to givesupport to the statements you make, the second has to do with the scope of linguistic enquiry,with what your statements should actually be about.And here we find something of an apparent paradox in Chomsky’s position. What herepresents as central in language is an abstract set of organizing principles which both definean area of human cognition, a specific language faculty, and determine the parameters ofUniversal Grammar. The various forms of different languages are of interest to the extent thatthey can be seen as alternative settings for these general parameters. The communicativefunctions such forms take on in actual contexts of use are of no interest at all. They furnish noreliable evidence of underlying cognitive principles: there are too many distractions in thedata by way of performance variables. So the most important thing about language from thispoint of view is that it is evidence for something else, namely a faculty in the human mind,uniquely and innately specific to the species. In a sense, therefore, it would appear that what iscentral in language is that it is not of itself central. Paradoxically, for Chomsky, the study oflanguage depends on disregarding most of it as irrelevant. Indeed, in this view, whatlinguistics is about is not really language but grammar, and more particularly that area ofgrammar which is concerned with the structural relations of sentence constituents, that is tosay, with syntax.Chomsky’s specification of the scope of linguistics is extremely broad and far-reaching inrespect to its implications, encompassing as it does nothing less than the universals of thehuman mind. But it is, of course, correspondingly extremely narrow and inward-looking inrespect to the familiar phenomenon of language itself. What Chomsky presents is an abstractexplanation of language which is a long way from actual experience. Not surprisingly, it hasbeen challenged.© BA. Neddar 2006
  12. 12. 12Disclaimer and note on references used:I have no claim of originality so far as this paper is concerned. In fact, it has been prepared by referring to mypersonal notes taken during a lecture given on 30.01.1995 by H.G. Widdowson and the bibliographical listmentioned below from which passages have been taken integrally. My job consisted simply in combining thesedifferent sources to make- and I hope I did manage in that- a homogeneous paper.- Lyons, J. (1977) Semantics I Cambridge: University Press- Neddar, B.A.( 2004) Schema, Discourse and Foreign Language Teaching: An Introduction EDIK: Oran- Widdowson, H.G. (1996) Linguistics Oxford: University Press© BA. Neddar 2006
  13. 13. 13FACULTY OF ARTS AND LITERATURE UNIVERSITY OF MOSTAGANEMDepartment of EnglishFundamental Issues in Language TeachingDr. Bel Abbes Neddar THE SCOPE OF LINGUISTIC DESCRIPTION (I)A And then, in the blowing clouds, she saw a band of faint iridescence colouring in faint shadows a portion of the hill. And forgetting, startled, she looked for the hovering colour and saw a rainbow forming itself. In one place it gleamed fiercely, and, her heart anguished with hope, she sought the shadow or iris where the bow should be. Steadily the colour gathered, mysteriously, from nowhere, it took presence upon itself, there was a faint, vast rainbow. ( D.H. Lawrence, The Rainbow chapter 16 ) Normally after + very heavy rain + or something like that + and + you’re driving along the road + and + far away + you see + well + er + a series + of + stripes + + formed like a bow + an arch + + very very far away + ah + seven colours but + + I guess you hardly ever see seven it’s just a + a series of + colours which + they seem to be separate but if you try to look for the separate ( k z ) – colours they always seem + very hard + to separate + if you see what I mean + + ( Source: Brown, G. & yule, G. ( 1983) Discourse Analysis Cambridge: U.P. ) My heart leaps up when I behold A rainbow in the sky: So was it when my life began; So is it now I am a man; So be it when I shall grow old, Or let me die! The Child is father of the Man And I could wish my days to be Bound each to each by natural piety. ( William Wordsworth )© BA. Neddar 2006
  14. 14. 14B. (1) PICASSO DRAWS LARGE CROWDS POLICE FOUND DRUNK IN SHOP WINDOW POLICE SAY DETECTIVE SHOT MAN WITH KNIFE VIOLENCE – JUDGE HITS OUT SAILOR CLINGS TO BUOY FOR 17 HOURS CATERING COLLEGE HEAD COOKED FOR THE QUEEN GERMAN IS HELD OVER CALL GIRLS CHAMBERMAID HAD POT ASIAN SETTLE IN WELL (2) I hide mine in the greenhouse and my wife finds it. (3) NUS regrets fury over Jseph Student leaders condemn insult to Keith Joseph Student chiefs ‘regret’ attack on Sir KeithC. (1) It ain’t no cat can’t get in no coop (2) You love not me (3) He writes not good books (4) Not, I’ll not, carrion comfort. Despair, not feast on thee … (5) pity this busy monster, manunkind, not … (6) Ne nevere yet no vileynye ne sayde In all his lyf unto no maner wight. He was a verray, parfit gentil knight.© BA. Neddar 2006